Anime shows have always been bold in their depiction of several controversial, incest, and taboo themes. Boldness in anime is surprisingly so common that if you haven’t seen enough of these already, you’re probably not too familiar with the world of anime. Here’s a list of popular anime shows available on Netflix that explore bold themes.
8. Blue Eye Samurai (2023 -)
Onna-musha Mizu is a half-Japanese and half-white woman who is burning with the desire for vengeance for the wrongs done to her many years ago. In order to take her revenge and set the record straight, she is looking for her father and three other white men who illegally remained in Japan despite the country’s decision to close its borders under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate. But her path is riddled with challenges as the society at the time is notoriously patriarchal and racist. ‘Blue Eye Samurai’ is an exciting show that revolves around a strong female protagonist. The anime is bold enough to feature a lot of scenes that would not be appropriate for a young audience. Feel free to stream the anime here.
7. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-)
Some might assume that ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion‘ has always been as popular as it is today but that’s certainly not the case. Initially, after its release, it was not so well known probably because of its futuristic themes. But over the years, it has gone viral for all the wrong reasons. People still appreciate its action-packed storyline, and several other aspects, like the opening themes of the show, have now gained immense popularity. Even the fanservice that it offers is clearly way ahead of its time and is still considered to be quite bold.
The anime also features an incestuous relationship which has sparked several debates amongst fans. This relationship is between Shinji and Rei who, in a way, have a mother-son relationship. Shinji’s real mother is actually Yui Ikari and Rei is just a cloned version of her. But genetically, Rei is Shinji’s mother in one way or the other, so her relationship with Shinji can easily qualify as incest. Even if you don’t agree that it’s incest, you cannot deny that it is one of the most twisted relationships in the world of anime. You can watch the show here.
6. Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy (2022 -)
If you are looking for a bold anime that features countless revealing and sensual moments, then there is probably no better show than ‘Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy.’ The anime masterfully uses intimate scenes to add another layer to its storytelling, so any sexual moment is not mindlessly made just to woo the audience but instead serves as an important element in the entire plot. ‘Bastard‼ Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy’ or ‘Bastard!! Ankoku no Hakaishin’ follows the mighty wizard Dark Schneider’s attempt to save the kingdom of Metallicana on the insistence of High Priest Geo after it is attacked by the dangerous Four Lords of Havoc. Interestingly, Schneider once used to be an ally of the twisted villains, so he faces a complicated moral dilemma when he fights back against them. If you are curious about the anime and wish to watch it, then you can find all the episodes here.
5. Gantz: O (2016)
Yasushi Kawamura and Keiichi Sato’s ‘Gantz: O’ is one of those rare anime movies that features strange combination of grotesque nudity and hot female characters to entice the viewers. However it must be noted that the science-fiction film is way more than just that. Recounting a suspensful and action-packed story about a compassionate boy named Masaru Katou the films delves deeper into complex ideas like free-will and determinism, the meaning of life, the ethics of technology, and the nature of humanity. You can watch the film here.
4. Japan Sinks: 2020 (2020)
‘Japan Sinks: 2020’ is a series that revolves around a tragedy. Viewers get introduced to an ordinary family that faces one of the most terrible natural calamities to ever occur in Japan. In the face of an existential crisis, they fight tooth and nail for their survival without the assurance of ever seeing another day. While the show is mostly tragic with each episode revealing a new face of the tragedy that afflicts the people of the East Asian country, there is one episode that stands out. In that particular episode, there is an intense love-making scene that pushes the show into the ecchi category. All the episodes are accessible for streaming here.
3. Castlevania (2017-2021)
Warren Ellis’s ‘Castlevania’ is one of the few animated shows on Netflix that never shies away from its mature themes. From grotesque violence to sexually-charged nude scenes, the series has it all. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the anime has made it to this list. ‘Castlevania’ follows the monster-hunter Trevor Belmont and his ragtag group of friends who decide to put up a resistance against the dangerous vampire Vlad Dracula Tepes, who vows to teach humanity a lesson for the grotesque murder of his beloved wife. As the monsters unleashed by him start to devour and kill humans while burning down one home after another, Trevor and his comrades start a long journey to bring Tepes down. If you wish to learn how the drama unfolds, then you can watch the show here.
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2. Kakegurui (2017)
‘Kakegurui’ may not feature a sex scene like some of the shows on this list, but the anime recklessly uses sensual provocations by its female characters that frequently sexual gambling for some strange reason. In some instances, the characters appear to draw carnal satisfaction from what transpires in the gambling game making the show a good fit for this list. ‘Kakegurui’ revolves around the elite Hyakkaou Private Academy, where students are taught the art of gambling to make them more competitive and teach them skills that would prepare them for real-world challenges where manipulation can play a key role. When a clueless transfer student challenges the status quo, things take an unexpected turn as she is drawn into the ruthless world of gambling that dictates one’s position and fame in the school. The anime is accessible for streaming here.
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1. Baki (2018 -)
Now ‘Baki’ is not like most ecchi anime that has a ton of fanservice moments. The show revolves around an attractive young man who desires to become the strongest man in the world. Viewers get to watch a muscular and hot protagonist fight in almost every other episode (without any clothes other than his shots) against incredibly dangerous death row inmates who have managed to escape the prison. While the prospect of watching someone as attractive as Baki in action may already be bold for a lot of viewers, the anime on top of that also features an explicit sex scene that includes nudity. The sensually charged moment can easily be called one of the best fanservice moments in the history of anime. You can watch the show here.
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